In a cottage

Sun Nov 1, 2009 at 11:52 am in Modern Domesticity, NaBloPoMo | 4 Comments

Coming to you from my new apartment! I just spent 2 days moving. I’m pretty exhausted, I rather hope I have clothing to wear to work tomorrow, and I have some pretty astounding bruises. But the Important Part is that it is done.

boxes waitingWe wanted to do something more in this move than just trade one cookie-cutter apartment for another. Personally, I needed a change. I’ve been commuting to the same job from the same place for 3.5 years, and it’s gotten to be stale and annoying. I know many people do this same sort of thing for much longer, but I am not someone who can do that. This is, for example, my 20th move in the last 16 years. I am not a stay-a-long-time-do-the-same-thing kind of person.

We picked a converted garage built in 1932 to live in. There is exactly zero standard space in here (no white square box rooms), the walls are entirely plaster and wood (quiet!), and we have downsized from almost 1300 sq feet to 650 sq feet (I can hear the collective gasps now). The most challenging part is the kitchen, which if I didn’t know any better I would say was a Manhattan kitchen. It’s tiny, and there isn’t any counter space at all.

And my new crafting “room?” It’s a closet, about 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Woo!

We chose our new place based on a few priorities that we thought would make us both saner, happier people.

  • No commute. No buses. We wanted to walk or bike to work, and hopefully bike or walk lots of other places too.
  • Less stuff. We have been through a two-month process of getting rid of everything we didn’t want or weren’t using. I sold 150 books, for example. And I know I am not done cleaning out.
  • No shared walls. This was hard to find, given we didn’t want an entire house. It meant no apartment complexes.
  • Less wasted space – we didn’t want more acres of room we rarely used, and the high energy cost that goes along with it.
  • Safer neighborhood. Ours has been gradually declining until we felt like we couldn’t take a walk there. Our building had been robbed 8 times that we knew of in 2 years.
  • Keep the washer/dryer. This turned out to be the hardest requirement, but I really don’t do laundromats.

There are always compromises to be made with such a definite list of requirements, but our new place fit the bill. Nothing is all roses, but I’m looking forward to the compromises and the ingenuity required to fit into a small place.

Most of all, I’m really looking forward to walking to work tomorrow.

On a side note: It’s NaBloPoMo month again. Caught me totally off guard. But I’m going to try anyway, even though that’s a totally nuts thing to do. And I should post now, for that reason, because it’s 11:52!

Things of Interest

Mon Jun 9, 2008 at 11:26 pm in Favorite Finds, NaBloPoMo | 1 Comment

A few things I ran across in catching up with my blog reading. I was depressed about my blogs – the reader finally gave up counting and said I had 1000+ posts to read. Erf. Reading blogs is one of the best parts of my day, I miss it when I can’t sit down and look around the internet, check in on what people are doing … I like reading more than I like writing a blog, really. Although I like that too.

First up, you should check out the BedUP, by D√©cadrages (via Curbly). I love small-space designs. This thing stores in the ceiling and pulls down for night, and sits right on top of your normal furniture. While a cool and probably practical idea,¬† I’m just not ready to sign myself up (again) for the extremely cramped living space such a requirement implies.

Gerbera DreamSee the latest quarterly reports on home values in the United States on this interactive map. Even with the economic downturn Austin’s median home price still went up 2.8%. *sigh* I will own a home someday, I swear …

In York, a new (well, relocated from Halifax) museum opens dedicated entirely to quilting and textile arts. Which got me wondering about quilt museums in the U.S. and turns out there are a number. Excellent! More ways to bore my husband on trips!

FLOWERS! Kaija of Paperiaarre guest-posted on Poppytalk about Gerbera Dream, an “environmental work of art” in Turku, Finland (shown in the picture). 14,000 gerbera daisy plants were placed in front of Turku Cathedral, going right up the steps. There’s also a YouTube video about placing the plants.

Finally, some crochet. Oh Joy posted the following photograph of a 2004 work of art by Janet Morton in thread crochet. This photo is for you, Vicki, who once wondered what on earth could be done with thread crochet. Give a tree new lace bark – of course! Why didn’t I think of that before?

Thread Crochet Tree

Reminds me of Houston’s knitted graffiti artists, Knitta, but more elegant and less street :)

Something Extra for June

Tue Jun 3, 2008 at 10:20 pm in Modern Domesticity, NaBloPoMo, Self-Reflection | No Comments

My first post was published in June 2007, almost a year ago. I have a little sidebar widget over there –> that says right now that I have 13 days left until my blogoversary (c’mon, that’s not a word, is it?).

Crochet on my couchAnywho, it took me three days to decide, but in the end I wanted to do something special to mark my blogging anniversary month because my blog has been an unexpectedly influential force in my life for the last year. So I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo(Fo) again for June. In case you were unaware, the organizers decided to continue the monthly blogging sprees with new themes for each month.

Home …

June’s theme is Home, so at the very least, each day I’m going to say something about some concept of what home means to me, from the simplest “home is … ” to the more absurd things I can contemplate.

Today’s concept of home, to coincide with that picture of my couch, is sanctuary. What you see in the picture is one thing that my home crafting exploits means to me, and that’s retreat and respite. I had a really stressful month of May, and coming home to that pile of yarn and books and my crochet hook was very therapeutic and necessary for me. I can get lost in the repetitive motion of the hook, and take comfort in my messy piece of couch and forget all the stress of the day.

Today is another example of how home is a sanctuary. I had a lot of nasty dental work done today, and I was not feeling very well by the time I got home. Frankly, I don’t know who’s writing this post, as I’m in medication la-la-land. I was so incredibly happy to get home and find my couch corner, a book and a blanket. I should also mention that it’s days like today I remember why my husband is so completely awesome, because he was absolutely the epitome of good husband-ness today, and even managed to make me feel like I wasn’t quite as pathetic as I looked.

See you tomorrow :)